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Getting sharp pain in rib area. Cause and cure?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5931 Questions
Sharp Pain in left rib area radiating to back. Area next to rib tender to the touch. Constant all day severe sharp pain. This pain started about a month ago and seems like it is getting worse.

What can be the cause?
Posted Mon, 28 Jan 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

The pain in the left side of the middle back can be due to a lung infection or congestion.

The other causes of back pain could be a muscular pain, bone infection, nerve root syndromes, renal stone, etc.

You need to consult your physician for a detailed examination to find out the cause.

In the meanwhile, adequate rest, hot compresses, good analgesic medications and avoiding strenuous exercises will benefit you.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you good health.
Dr Saurabh Gupta.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting sharp pain in rib area. Cause and cure? 16 hours later
The pain is actually right behind the upper rib radiating into the back. The area next to the rib is very painful to the touch. I fell better in the morning when wake up but as the day progresses it gets worse to the point where its pretty excrutiating.
Food seems to have no corrolation with the pain. Also when I lay on my left side and breath in and out deeply, I can sometimes feel almost a light clicking noise/feeling under the edge of the rib. Is it possible to have some sort of abnormal growth?
If there was something there, would I have more symptoms such as nausea/vomiting? I have no other symptoms. I do not have insurance at the moment but am wondering if I should be seen at a local ER. Thanks
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 9 hours later
Thanks for writing again.

From the description given it seems that you are suffering from Costochondritis.

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum) — a junction known as the costosternal joint.

“Slipping” and “popping” sensations are common, and activities such as bending, coughing, XXXXXXX breathing, lifting, reaching, rising from a chair, stretching, and turning in bed often exacerbate the symptoms and there is no any abnormal growth.

Costochondritis usually goes away on its own, although in some cases it may last for several months or longer.

I would suggest getting this evaluated by an physician for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.

Meanwhile you can do following things:-
1. For pain control take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen .
2. stretching exercises.
3. Place hot compresses or a heating pad to the painful area several times a day.
4. Avoid activities that make your pain worse.

I hope this answers your query. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer.

If you have no further query,please close the discussion,rate the answer and give your review.

Wishing you good health...
Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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